(HealthDay News) – Colchicine is more effective than placebo in reducing the risk of incessant or recurrent pericarditis in patients with acute pericarditis, according to a study published online Sept. 1 in the New England Journal of Medicine to coincide with presentation at the annual European Society of Cardiology Congress, held from Aug. 31–Sept. 4 in Amsterdam.
Noting that colchicine is effective for recurrent pericarditis, Massimo Imazio, MD, from Maria Vittoria Hospital in Turin, Italy, and colleagues randomly assigned 240 patients with acute pericarditis to colchicine (0.5mg once or twice daily) or placebo for three months, in addition to conventional anti-inflammatory treatment with aspirin or ibuprofen.
The researchers found that the risk of incessant or recurrent pericarditis was significantly lower in the colchicine group (16.7% vs. 37.5%; relative risk reduction, 0.56; number needed to treat, 4). The colchicine group had significant reductions in the rate of symptom persistence at 72 hours, number of recurrences per patient, and hospitalization rate; the colchicine group also had significant improvement in the remission rate at one week. The two groups had similar overall adverse effects and rates of study-drug discontinuation, and there were no serious adverse events.
“In patients with acute pericarditis, colchicine, when added to conventional anti-inflammatory therapy, significantly reduced the rate of incessant or recurrent pericarditis,” Imazio and colleagues conclude.
Acarpia supplied the colchicine and placebo tablets for the study.